Monday, September 23, 2019

I’m sorry for my absence. I’m fading away, I fear.

However, there has been some progress with the Spring Shawl. I have now embarked on row 30 (of 150) and feel I am getting into the swing of it – or maybe the last couple of rows have been unusually easy. I get the idea, from the first 20 stitches or so, and can then stop peering anxiously at the chart.

Here’s a picture from earlier today:

Perdita is sitting on the centre triangle – which has that wide mesh edging. Below that, scarcely more than a frill, is the border-to-date: arithmetic assures us that it is 1/6 of the total.

I wish I could audit your chart class, Mary Lou. It seems extraordinary to me that anybody has difficulty with charts. Jamieson and Smith used to sell – I hope they still do – a pamphlet with a tremendously Fifties look, with patterns for several fancy lace scarves and shawls. They are all written out stitch by stitch, meticulously proof-read. I’ve knit at least one of them, and found that the only possible way to do it was to chart it, row by row.

When did charts come in?

Yesterday – a great event – Kristie and Kath came to see me, and we all tottered out (I tottered, they supported me) to a nearby pub for supper. It was with them that I went to Shetland (in 2013? some such date) and we stayed at Burrastow and went to see Muckle Flugga and had a grand time. Latterly, they have been walking the West Highland Way. Kath, the non-knitter, took a picture of me and Kristie which I trust I will be able to post to you soon. We bitterly regretted on the way home that we hadn’t asked our nice waiter to take a picture of all three.

We scarcely knew each other, when we went to Shetland. We met on-line, and had had lunch together once. I have the fondest memory of sitting next to the appropriate departure gate -- the departure gate for Shetland -- and seeing them walking down the airport corridor towards me.


I’ve  finished “The Duke’s Children”, including a bit of speed-reading through the later political bits. I loved Lord Popplecourt. His social ineptitude almost rivals that of Mr Rushworth in “Mansfield Park”.

Now what? I’ve pre-ordered “The Dutch House” and fear I should attempt “Adam Bede” again.


  1. What about "Wives and Daughters"? I can't remember if you read that earlier, but I would certainly recommend it, along with the 1999 tv serial.
    Please don't fade away, Jean. You would be much missed.

  2. Charts.
    1968 a knitting booklet of baby garments being made for a workmate - shawl written pattern.
    1978 knitted it again for my own first offspring and then the old Shetland one that we know so well. Still no charts that I knew of. So later than that.
    I am doing the Shetland shawl again to keep my hands in trim. I charted the edging, but balked at the borders - it is quite struggle to go back to "written out" now that I have had practice at using charts.

  3. Charts have been around since the first half of last century - but mostly in Denmark and Germany/Switzerland. Charts weren't common until the late 1990's although EZ was suggesting they should be. They make it so much easier to understand how a pattern fits together!

  4. I appreciate the info about how long charts have been around. Long before I had any software I did as you did, Jean, and wrote out charts. Mrs Laidlaw’s Pattern - so overwhelming line by line but clear and simple in charts.

  5. Cannot imagine knitting anything interesting without charts. I used to hate crocheting because they didn't have charted patterns. Though I do admit, I am more challenged by the crochet charts because I don't crochet as much.
    The shawl looks so beautiful - I think Perdita agrees:)!
    And you are not fading, you are conserving energy for the important things in life!